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The Radiants

The Radiants originated in Chicago in 1960 at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, where the future Radiants sang in the Youth Choir. Maurice McCallister assembled the group and sang lead; the other members were Wallace Sampson (baritone), Jerome Brooks (second tenor), Elzie Butler (Bass), and Charles Washington (first tenor). Similar to the Womack Brothers, the guys sang gospel at local churches but also worked on the R&B songs written by McCallister on the side. McLauren Green replaced Washington shortly before their first recording session. By 1961, gospel music was a memory, and they started shopping demos to record labels and received nothing but rejections. Motown, among others, turned them down, and so did Chess Records -- initially. They eventually signed with Chess and recorded under the tutelage of Billy Davis, aka Tyran Carlo, Berry Gordy's ex-songwriting partner, and former owner of Checkmate Records. Their first release, "Father Knows Best" backed by "One Day I'll Show You," in 1962, stiffed in some cities but was a hit in Cleveland.

Chess followed with "Heartbreak Society," then in 1963, Chess released "Shy Guy" and "I Gotta Dance to Keep My Baby." All were hit-sounding pieces of wax that failed to sell, probably because of poor promotion. On "Shy Guy," Frank McCollum replaced McLauren Green, who got drafted. By 1964, the Radiants were tripping all over themselves. They had problems galore -- so much so that they broke up. Maurice McCallister and Wallace Sampson were the only survivors. In came Leonard Caston, Jr., the organist at Greater Harvest Church, who had just gotten out of the Army. A new Radiants group was formed, this time as a trio: McCallister, Sampson, and Caston. McCallister also wrote for other Chess/Checker artists, penning "Soulful Dress" for Sugar Pie DeSanto.

"Voice Your Choice," released late in 1964, is their most popular recording. They duplicated the Impressions' three-part harmony and lead-switching style to perfection. It reached number 51 (pop) and number 16 (R&B) on Billboard. Chess followed with "Ain't No Big Thing," which slipped the pop charts, only reaching number 91, but did better on the R&B charts, reaching number 14. Again, they displayed some beautiful three-part harmonies, with McCallister and Caston switching off leads.

In 1965, Caston left the group to concentrate on songwriting and producing. James Jameson replaced him and appeared on "Baby You Got It" -- but the plot thickens: McCallister left shortly after its release. This should have ended the Radiants, but it didn't. Another group, the Confessions, led by Mitchell Bullock, had already recorded "Don't It Make You Feel Kinda Bad," but disbanded before Chess could release it. Billy Davis put Bullock with Sampson and Jameson, and added Victor Caston, Leonard's younger brother, and the Radiants were a quartet again. Chess put out the same record the Confessions had previously recorded, and stamped the Radiants on the label.

Who would know the difference? The record was an emotionally sung wailer but failed to dent the pop chart and only achieved number 47 on the national R&B chart, though it did well where played. "Hold On" did better, climbing to number 68 pop and number 35 R&B in 1968. By this time, their productions were handled by Leonard Caston and later Bobby Miller. Unfortunately, they didn't have any more chart entries and left Chess in 1969, breaking up in 1972.

McCallister went on to record duets with former Radiant McLauren Green as Maurice & Mac. "You Left the Water Running" by the two is considered a deep soul classic. Though the Radiants were popular in the Midwest and other areas, Chess never released an album by the group. A few of their cuts can be found on compilation CDs. Chess released ten or 15 singles of the group. Many of their early singles were two-sided hits. "I'm in Love," the flip of "Shy Guy," received quite a bit of airplay, as did "Noble the Bargain Man," the B-side of "I Gotta Dance to Keep My Baby." The latter was written by McCallister and David Clowney aka Dave "Baby" Cortez; you can hear his trademark organ on the recording, driving the rhythm section.

Some of the disc jockeys in Cleveland referred to McCallister as Jimmy Durante, because he resembled the inka dinka doo man, a little guy with a big nose, but he could sing and write with the best of them and deserved more. ~ Andrew Hamilton
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Chess Uptown Soul

1. The Entertainer

3. Jerk And Twine

4. Oh What A Feeling

6. Sitting In The Park

7. Temptation 'bout To Get Me

8. Everything To Me

9. Nothing But You

10. I Wont Need You

11. Wear It On Our Face

13. Pushover

15. Searching For My Love

16. I Had A Talk With My Man

17. I Believe She Will

21. Mama Didn't Lie

22. Go Away Little Boy

23. The Soul Of A Man

x

Track List: Chicago Radio Soul

1. Rescue Me

4. Selfish One

7. No Faith, No Love

9. Love Is A 5-Letter Word

11. Lonely Girl

14. Only Time Will Tell

16. The (Bossa Nova) Bird

18. Heartbreak Society

19. Strange Feeling

20. Try My Love Again

21. Sharing You

22. Take Me For A Little While

23. One Day I'll Show You

24. Stay By My Side

25. A Love Reputation

x

Track List: Eccentric Soul: Twinight's Lunar Rotation

Disc 1

1. The Devastator

3. Package Of Love Part 1

4. Main Squeeze

5. Satisfied

6. Yes, My Goodness Yes

7. Not Too Cool To Cry

9. So Good To Have You Home Again

10. Soul Strokes

12. Be My Lady

13. Let Me Come Within

14. Which One Am I

15. Can You Find Me Love

16. Is It Worth A Chance

17. Lonely People

18. To Love Someone (That Don't Love You)

19. My Sunshine Girl

20. Powerful Love

Disc 2

1. A New Day

2. Rosemarie

3. You And Me Baby

4. Lift This Hurt

5. Why Do You Want To Make Me Sad

6. Put Out The Fire

7. Breaking Point

8. Life Walked Out

9. Nevermore

10. Pardon My Innocent Heart

11. Remind Me

14. I'll Always Love You

15. Tearing Me Up Inside

16. I've Made Up My Mind

17. Goin' Man Huntin'

18. I Can't Stop

19. Two Years Four Days

20. Yesterday's Mistakes

x

Track List: Eccentric Soul: Twinight's Lunar Rotation

Disc 1

1. The Devastator

2. Breaking Point

3. Put Out The Fire

4. Catch Up With The World

5. Everytime I Wake Up

6. Soul Strokes

7. Pass It On (Pt. 1)

8. Temptation Is Hard To Fight

9. So Good To Have You Home Again

10. That's The Reason

11. Maggie

12. Remind Me

13. I Won't Stop To Cry

14. Nevermore

15. Mama

16. Rosemarie

17. Is It Worth A Chance

18. You And Me Baby

19. Why Do You Want To Make Me Sad

20. Be My Lady

21. Not Too Cool To Cry

22. Which One Am I?

23. I've Made Up My Mind

24. Wayward Dream

25. Package Of Love (Part 1)

26. To Love Someone (That Don't Love You)

27. Yesterday's Mistakes

Disc 2

1. I Can't Stop

2. Goin' Man Huntin'

3. Satisfied

4. Yes, My Goodness Yes

5. The Bear

6. Can You Find Me Love

7. Let Me Come Within

8. Tearing Me Up Inside

9. Is It Meant To Be

10. I'm Still Here

11. I'll Always Love You

12. I'm A Good Man

13. Powerful Love

14. A New Day

15. Main Squeeze

16. Lift This Hurt

17. Don't Wanna Face Truth

18. Two Years Four Days

19. Lonely People

20. Falling In Love

21. My Sunshine Girl

22. You Need To Be Loved

23. Life Walked Out

24. Just You And Me

25. You're Being Unfair

26. Pardon My Innocent Heart

27. Soul Heaven

x

Track List: Lost And Found: Real R&B And Soul

1. They Call Me Big Mama

2. Come On Back

3. (Countdown) Here I Come

4. You Don't Love Me

8. Tippin'

10. I'll Be True To You

11. I Want You

12. I'll Be Oh So Good

13. King Kong

16. Hang On In There

17. Rhythm

18. One More Chance

19. All I Do Is Think About You

21. Honey Child

23. Crosscut Saw

25. The Ice-Man

27. Call Me

28. I Got Love If You Want It

x

Track List: Northern Soul

1. Let's Wade In The Water

2. It Ain't Necessary

3. Hold On

4. Wear It On Our Face

5. A Love Reputation

6. Ordinary Joe

7. More Love That's What We Need

8. Leave It In The Hands Of Love

9. Landslide

10. Sweeter Than The Day Before

11. More And More

13. Run For Cover

16. Boo-Ga-Loo Baby

17. Look At Me Now

20. Wade In The Water

x

Track List: Sweet Soul Music: 1965

1. Voice Your Choice

2. Boy From New York City

3. Hold What You've Got

4. Twine Time

5. Don't Mess Up A Good Thing

6. My Girl

7. Shotgun

8. People Get Ready

9. Got To Get You Off My Mind

10. Iko Iko

11. I'll Be Doggone

12. Entertainer

13. Baby, I'm Yours

14. Boot-Leg

15. I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)

16. We're Gonna Make It

17. Back In My Arms Again

18. Oo Wee Baby, I Love You

19. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)

20. Ride Your Pony

21. In The Midnight Hour

22. Sitting In The Park

23. "In" Crowd

24. Papas Got A Brand New Bag, Pt. 1

25. Tracks Of My Tears

26. Think

27. Treat Her Right

28. Rescue Me

29. See Saw

30. Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)

Comments

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THIS OLDIE SONG IS A CLASSIC BACK IN THE DAYS I WOULD LIKE TO DEDICATE THIS OLDIE ROLA TO MY BELOVED BABYBOY IN LOVING MEMORY OF YOU SERGIO WIZARD VASQUEZ RRST IN PARADISE FOREVER IN MY HEART AND SOUL I LOVE YOU BABY ALWAYS AND FOREVER.FROM YOUR LOVING MOTHER MARIA GONZALEZ VASQUEZ
Report as inappropriate
Not much know about this song but this is a bad a** song Love is ♥♡♥♡♥♡
Report as inappropriate
Ant no big thing my song The Radiants <3
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SMOOVE*978*5 m 1 4 y ~
Report as inappropriate
They had a top 20 with Voice Your Choice and no bio? Rare and cherished Chicago soul!!
Report as inappropriate
The Radiants...w o w . . o n e of the templates of early Chicago soul...obvio u s l y these guys were hugely talented...a n d their hit song "Ain't No Big Thing"..was a masterpiece! ! !

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